Schools in Ouachita Parish prepare for an active shooter

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - When one group of students from West Monroe High School aren't in the books, they're learning self-defense. They said they want to be prepared to protect themselves any way they can, because you just never know when you'll need to fight to stay alive, even at school.

"My dad, he's like you're going to have to fight for yourself and defend yourself," said John-Marc Vargas, a West Monroe High School student.

Their school even encourages them to fight back especially in an active shooter situation.

This week Ouachita Parish schools are teaming up with the sheriff's office to conduct random lockdown drills that are almost identical to what might happen during an active shooter situation.

"There are a hundred different scenarios that can actually happen, but to try to prepare for each scenario is impossible," Don Coker, Ouachita Parish superintendent said.

A representative with the sheriff’s office couldn’t give us those specific tactics or plans, for safety reasons, but did assure us deputies know the floor plan of every Ouachita Parish school.

School officials at West Monroe High School said they teach their students how to react. And students are teaching themselves how to do just that.

"If anyone is trying to cause you harm then you already have that right to defend yourself,"

Coker also said students play a role in all this, too. They’re encouraged to let faculty and staff know when they suspect they’re in danger.